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Dr Alison Hodge

Action research or researching action?

Theme: Approach/School/Theory
Area: Supervision
Type: Research (a workshop on how to apply it in practice)

Session on Thursday, Jun 15th, 10:25
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For many practitioners, the notion of “research” may be off-putting, intimidating, mystifying, academic i.e. not in the real world. Based on my doctoral inquiry into coaching supervision (Middlesex 2014), my practice is now informed and underpinned by the core tenets of action research methodology. With change to practice as the core of action research methodology, in this dialogic workshop we will explore how this approach provides a container to support the change intentions that may be considered to be at the heart of coaching.

I will briefly share my experience of my doctoral research project and how my practice has changed as a result. We will look at the impact of taking an ‘inductive’ rather than ‘deductive’ research approach and how this can inform how we engage with and co-create coaching contracts with clients. We will explore some of the key principles and elements of action research (e.g. cyclical, emergent, change to practice, change to the wider system) and how this corresponds to and can inform the coaching practitioner¹s approach to assignments. As time allows, we will also investigate the jargon associated with research such as “data gathering” and “data analysis” and explore how these aspects of methodology can provide a template or guide for either an individual coaching session or in an on-going assignments.


Dr Alison Hodge is an accredited Executive Coach at Master Practitioner level with EMCC and an accredited Executive Coaching Supervisor with APECS. Alison works globally as a coaching supervisor with individuals and groups of both internal and external executive coaches. She teaches on the MSc in Coaching & Mentoring at Sheffield Hallam University and is a member of faculty and supervise supervisors-in-training with CSA (Coaching Supervision Academy). She graduated with her DProf in Coaching Supervision at Middlesex University in July 2014.

Alison has a particular interest in the relational phenomena that occur in supervision and how this can inform the supervisee about their own process with their client relationships as well as what may be occurring in their individual and organizational client systems. Action Research now forms the bedrock of her framework in supervision. Exploring, co-creating and gathering data to inform the supervisee’s reflection on practice are at the heart of the work we do together.